By Tim Rodgers
Some folks spend a lifetime dedicated to crafting their techniques for preparing BBQ Ribs. The rib community is divided like an American Politico 50/50 regarding whether to boil your ribs before putting them on the grill, baking them, and/or whether to go with a dry rub or a BBQ sauce. Some say that you lose flavor when you boil the ribs or that boiling them leaves some flavor in the water almost like a soup stock, but baking ribs does not leave them tender/falling off of the bone like boiling them. So the question and dilemma you have to ask yourself is, do you want to compromise flavor for tenderness, or tenderness for flavor?
The problem with using BBQ sauce is that much is the sauce is wasted because it burns off during the grilling process, however a mere dry rub denies the rib eater the moist texture of the BBQ sauce. Well my friends, like the hot broad at the end of Trading Places when asked whether she wants crab or lobster tonight, “Can’t we have both…?” Well in the spirit of Whiskey Goldmine I boil my ribs in beer and use a dry rub and finish them off with a BBQ sauce at the end. I tried this recipe with light beers and the best one ended up being Yuengling Lager. Using an ale overpowered the meat with hops etc, and lighter beers didn’t pack any punch. Being a native Pennsylvanian, Yuengling Lager was a staple of beer drinking for much of my adult life. Yuengling is recognized as America’s Oldest Brewery headquartered in Pottsville Pa. The Yuenlging Premium Quart of beer was fuel for the harsh life of laboring as a coal miner in central Pennsylvania. In the 1990’s it grew as a trendy beer in the Philadelphia area for good reason, because it is quality.
Yuengling Lager BBQ Ribs
1 nice rack of pork ribs
2- 12 ounce bottles of Yuengling Lager
1 onion chopped into large pieces
1 healthy hand full of cilantro
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of salt
For the rub:
1/3 cup of brown sugar
3 tablespoons of paprika
2 tablespoons of black pepper
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce at the end
In a large kettle, combine all the ingredients listed for the boiling and add enough water so that the ribs are submerged in the pot. Allow to boil for at least an hour. The beer may provide a “beer wort” smell in the kitchen, but don’t let that discourage you, it will payoff at the end. While the ribs are boiling in the beer concoction, combine and mix together all ingredients for the rub. After boiling for an hour, take the ribs out of the pot and allow them to cool briefly. Next apply the rub. Really get the rub into the meat, (that’s why it called a rub). Once you are satisfied with the amount of seasoning, seal your ribs using a container or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or two. Preheat your grill, then once preheated, put the grill on the low heat.
A tip for grilling, brush olive oil on the grills to prevent sticking. Place the ribs meat-side down for 20 minutes, then flipover for at least another 40 minutes. With about 10 minutes to go, brush on your favorite BBQ sauce to coat the meat and provide that BBQ sauce texture. Cut up your ribs and enjoy! Pick up a case of Pennsylvania’s traditional, proud, full bodied,Yuenlging Lager to wash down those succulent ribs!
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